One of the reasons I get on so well with many of DH's relatives is because of things like "grandfather rocks." His cousin Chris and her husband, Don, built a house about 10 years ago on a parcel that was once part of the family farm. Whose family farm? His family? Hers? Both!
Research has shown that DH & Chris's grandparents bought and worked a farm that was once owned by Don's grandparents. They did not know that when they purchased the property (here is where the genealogical spark becomes a flame) and have since made a wonderful commemorative with pictures and dates. As facts became clear, stories began to unfold and Don and Chris learned that both of their dads had been put to work, by their respective fathers, piling up rocks that surfaced in fields as the land was worked. These piles of rocks dot the farm property to this day and are affectionately known as The Grandfather Rocks. Chris has used many of them to border flower beds, walkways and other landscaping features -- and there are neat, ready piles of material for as many more as she could ever want.
DH's grandparents named the farm using a combination of their given names -- a name that they'd be proud to see is still in use today -- and a road that borders the farm is named the same. Various old painted wood signs from around the farm have been rescued over the years and are proudly displayed by family members, and highly coveted by others. I'll admit it -- me -- it's mostly me -- I covet the signs, especially the one that shaped like a shield. I'm not even really family, just married-in. Makes no difference.
Truth be told, I covet the rocks, too. Mostly, though, it makes my heart sing that lowly piles of rocks and painted wood signs can command and hold such reverence, that all the things they represent still do, too, after all these years. I think it's a little like this family's "Midas touch." It's corny. I know.